In a Snap: Get Your Website up and Running
Anyone who follows WTP knows our mission is to grow traffic to noteworthy artists and writers on the Web. But not all serious artists and writers have taken the time to develop a Web presence — why is that?
The most common answers often are “Well, I don’t need one yet because I’m not established enough” Or “I don’t need one.” Period.
Well you do need one. Because it is that presence that is going to translate into a loyal following. A following agents, for writers and artists alike, are going to want to hear about. So will publishers. Really, anyone interested in investing seriously in you. That’s the reality of this digital era. Bottom line: if you are an artist seeking gallery representation or a writer an agent or publisher, you need a reference point on the internet, and this means something other than a Twitter handle or Flickr account.
The good news is, that Web presence can be super simple! Nothing more than one landing page, with contact information, maybe something about who you are, what you’re presently working on — done.
Here are some simple steps to getting that Web presence up and running quickly:
We recommend the wordpress.com platform. Free! And super user friendly.
Later, you can always upgrade to wordpress.org and purchase your own domain name (from for example yourname.com). Purchasing that domain name can prove significant, it increase your search engine presence and you will “own” it.
You do not need to be a coder or designer. All you have to do is choose a “theme.” You can always change your theme (your content shouldn’t be affected) but think first about what kind of Web presence you want to have– What kind of writer or artist are you? Who do you see as your audience?
You can do as much or as little as you like with your site. You can keep it to one main landing page (which would meet our prerequisite for a website Url to be published in WTP).
You can take your time to develop your site later, but with these key elements:
Social sharing buttons: A must! If you are already on Twitter, Facebook or just Instagram, you do want to grow those audiences by providing links.
An “About” page: Doesn’t have to be long-winded. Could be as simple as a little about what you are working on now, a series of sculptures, your first novel, etc.
A Contact Page: Another must. And we advise using a Web form rather than just listing your email address to avoid spam.
Email Sign-Up Form: You want to capture emails, and start building a mailing list for that announcement of your first publication or art exhibition. Sign-up forms are easy enough to set up through Mailchimp.com.
Your Avatar: We want to see your face.
A Blog: Do you need one? Not necessarily. You could keep your site as a static Web presence, and be primarily about branding — think about that when choosing your theme especially. What do you want this site to say about you as a creative person?
Blogging does have its long-term advantages. You can build a community around it, and thus that coveted following. And a blog can be as simple as updating where you are in your manuscript; musings on the painting process; even tips. But a blog is indeed a great avenue for developing an online supportive community with other aspiring folk serious about their creative endeavors. And community usually translates into, yes, a following.
Whatever you decide to do with your site, whether have it remain static for now, make it a blog, or develop into something more later, at the very least take an hour — at most two — to get it up and running. And then come back, submit to us your best work, so maybe we can grow Web traffic to that spanking new Url of yours, by linking to it in The Woven Tale Press.